This is a new article, had trouble with the blog!
WORK OF THE CHURCH
The Church is not just a place where the faithful gather on Sundays to worship the Lord, but it is the living Body of Christ which requires a very active life. This life consists of carrying on the work of Christ or rather it is the work of Christ who is Head and Leader of the Church. The Church is well equipped and is the dwelling of the Holy Spirit who is her mentor and guide.
Christ built His Church after waging war against the enemy with the rights He had received after vanquishing him. So Christ acquired His Church in order to contend with the same enemy and to build herself upon the rights of Christ. The church abolished the old and sinful manner of life, teaches and nourished the faithful with a new and sinless life feeding its members with the food of immortality. The old sinful manner of life was founded upon the evil one and its many victims spread abroad continuing the works of the devil.
Just as Christ died and rose from the dead into life eternal and will never die again for death has lost its dominion over Him, so the members of the Church die with Christ and acquire all the rights of the resurrection. They live in eternity and reign together with Christ whose kingdom lasts forever and is indestructible.
So all the members of the Church look forward to their own resurrection, to which they testify: “I look to the resurrection of the dead and life in the world to come.” They go through tribulations on earth always looking to Christ, and become partakers of His sufferings and consequently of His eternal glory. This dogma is most essential for it testifies to our salvation, For if we fail to believe in our own resurrection we consequentially reject Christ’s resurrection.
In the Church of the Corinthians they were saying that there was no resurrection of the dead. Hearing this, St. Paul wrote to them in his first epistle: “Now if Christ preached that He had risen from the dead, how say among you that there is no resurrection from the dead? But if there is no resurrection from the dead then Christ is not risen; and if Christ is not risen, then is our preaching is vain. Yea, and we are found as false witnesses of God; because we have testified that God raised up Christ, whom He did not raise. For if the dead do not arise then Christ is not risen and your faith is vain; you are yet in your sins. Then they also which have fallen asleep are of all men the most miserable (1 Cor. 15:12-19).
Through such words St. Paul the Apostle confirms the dogma of the resurrection and the future life and kingdom which gives strength to every member of the Church to carry on the works of God in the Church. For whoever does not have this hope casts it forth as dead and without the ability to do what the Lord commands.
The Church is at war with the prince and ruler of this world which is built upon sin and death, and they preach to those who are ignorant, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ by which all believers are delivered from the condemnation of death, and receive the divine gift of the resurretion to eternal life. The Church builds herself up through preaching to new members keeping all the commandments of Christ who is her divine Head.
The present life of the Church and her members regard the future and eternal life which the faithful struggle to achieve by the means provided by Christ. As holy Scripture says: “The hour is coming in which all who are in their tombs shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live, and shall come forth, they that have done good unto the resurrection of life and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of condemnation.
“Behold I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible man must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death where is your sting? Hades where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who give us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:36-57 partial).
Preaching arouses belief which leads to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, for by faith we are saved and not by works for it is in faith in Jesus Christ that we are saved.